“Go easy on me, baby…”
Those are the song lyrics that have headlined British soul singer Adele for the past few months. With the release of her newest studio album “30,” the world has been awestruck by her level-headed sound and story. Following the divorce from her ex-husband, Simon Konecki, Adele has embellished a new side of herself — one that deals with grief, emotions, and an outstanding cry of confidence.
The tracks glisten with jazzy piano chords and nostalgic gospel choirs, amongst the caramel tone of Adele’s contralto voice. Her unique lyricism floats across her instrumentals, wrapping up her listeners in the feeling of learning to love after being broken.
The Rolling Stones praised “30” as Adele’s “toughest, most powerful album yet,” along with Metacritic calling it “universally acclaimed” with an average rating of 91 out of 100. Despite the positive reviews, The Guardian described the album’s musicality and lyricism as “monotonous” compared to her previous releases of witty choruses and tear-jerking aura.
Adele’s first single from the album, “Easy On Me,” was her first musical release in half a decade. With her comeback music video for the song, the songstress is shown selling her house and driving away into the countryside, all while sheet music soars from the back of her convertible. The balladry of the piece stands out to listeners, the track securing Spotify’s all-time record for most-streamed song in a single day.
Unlike other artists, Adele has not been one to feature musical guests on her studio albums. But on “30,” she posthumously credited American jazz pianist Erroll Garner on her groovy track, “All Night Parking.” Garner is the first artist to have been featured on an Adele album. As for the premise of the track’s story, Adele explained how it’s “an ode to the intoxicating feeling of falling for someone new.”
Not all of Adele’s songs dive into the warm feelings of a new amour. On “My Little Love,” she features voice memos explaining the divorce to her young son, Angelo. “Tell me you love me,” Adele is heard saying. Angelo responds with, “I love you a million percent.”
To promote the release of the album, the singer hosted “Adele One Night Only,” a CBS television special that ran for two hours on Nov. 14. The debut concert took place at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, with a view that ran across the cityscape and the classic Hollywood sign. The setlist featured the classic introductory “Hello” to the emotional finale of “Love Is a Game.” Between tracks, talk show host Oprah Winfrey interviewed Adele in a lush garden of flowers. The conversation gave details on Adele’s life after divorce, along with the somber grace of the album.
Recently, on Feb. 9, Adele took home three BRIT (British Record Industry Trust) Awards. She was named artist of the year, “30” won album of the year, and “Easy On Me” took song of the year. At the ceremony, she performed the groovy track “I Drink Wine” amongst a glittering golden backdrop. As for her growing fame, hopefully, she will write many more dazzling soul albums to come.